NewsLinks

NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Opinion: California needs a public ombudsman

February 07, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
As the California Supreme Court ruled in 1986, “In order to verify accountability, individuals must have access to government files. Such access permits checks against the arbitrary exercise of official power and secrecy in the political process.”

Streaming Service Urges Narrowing of Anti-SLAPP Speech Protections

February 06, 2019 | Courthouse News Service
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye urged Bandlow to be more specific. “The court is having a problem with the broadness of your argument. It could be argued that the anti-SLAPP motion protects any kind of report, public or private, that mentions keywords or buzzwords that are in the public interest,” she said.

Napa County erases dozens of past pot convictions, reduces others

February 06, 2019 | Vallejo Times-Herald
Passed by California voters, Proposition 64 legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana by adults. It also decreased penalties for possession with intent to sell, sales, transportation and cultivation of marijuana. Prop. 64 was retroactive, allowing for reductions and dismissals for previously imposed punishments, officials said.
LA County Seeks Best Models for Bail Reform

LA County Seeks Best Models for Bail Reform

February 06, 2019 | NBC Southern California
With a state plan to abolish cash bail hanging in limbo until a 2020 voter referendum, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to increase pre-plea diversion programs and develop and pilot bail reforms.

No Anti-SLAPP Motion Where Protected Activity Tangential

February 05, 2019 | Metropolitan News-Enterprise
The state Supreme Court yesterday declared that an action against the city of Carson can proceed after being dismissed as a SLAPP because the plaintiff’s allegations that the city breached an exclusive agency contract for negotiating the construction of an NFL stadium did not arise from protected activity.

Judicial Profile: Los Angeles County Judge Kimberly Nguyen

February 05, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) “When you get to close the case of a family that came in in a state of crisis, and get to close it in a much healthier, happier, more equipped place, it’s extremely rewarding,” she said. “I love that part of the job. I am able to see cases that come in from day one with me through the end where you see the differences between the parents and the kids.”
Opinion: With narrow window to sue, New York abuse survivors must act now

Opinion: With narrow window to sue, New York abuse survivors must act now

February 04, 2019 | The Hill
Despite the Catholic Church fighting all the way to the California Supreme Court to prevent the release of those files, we persisted and prevailed. In California alone, this civil litigation and discovery process led to the public identification of hundreds of perpetrators, as well as church hierarchy members who concealed the perpetrators’ crimes from law enforcement and the public.

Supreme Court reverses death penalty, affirms convictions, and is split in rejecting a Batson challenge

February 04, 2019 | At the Lectern
The Supreme Court reverses the death sentence but affirms the defendant’s convictions in People v. Armstrong for a 1998 robbery, rape, torture, and murder in Long Beach. The court is divided 4-3 about whether a Batson challenge — alleging racial discrimination in the prosecution’s jury selection — requires a full reversal.

'On call' workers must be paid, court rules

February 04, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
In a 2-1 decision with potentially broad impact, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles said on-call employees are protected by a 1943 California Industrial Welfare Commission wage order, still in effect, that entitles employees to “reporting time pay” as soon as they are required to report for work.

California to thrash out gig worker status in upcoming bills

February 04, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
Unions want Dynamex to be enshrined as state law; companies do not. So far Dynamex has not resulted in any large-scale reclassification, although it has been cited as precedent in a few legal cases. Uber and Lyft drivers, for instance, remain independent contractors.

Commentary: Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar: How to ensure equal access to the law when we speak 200 different languages

February 03, 2019 | CALmatters
In 2015, only nine out of our 58 trial courts provided interpreters in these critical cases; today 51 of our trial courts provide these services. Having a qualified interpreter means we can avoid the heartbreaking scenario of a child translating for her or his parents in family court, or a tenant relying on his landlord to explain what a judge is saying in an eviction proceeding.
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